[JURIST] UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon [official website] called for countries to hold to treaties restricting chemical and explosive weapons in remarks at two separate meetings Monday. High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Sergio Duarte read Ban's statement [text] during a conference on the Chemical Weapons Convention [text] at The Hague. Over 180 countries have already joined the Convention, but Ban noted that several key countries remain uncommitted. He praised Albania for destroying its entire arsenal of chemical weapons in July, and called on other nations to follow suit.
Also Monday, Deputy Secretary-General for the Conference on Disarmament Timothy Caughley read another statement [text] by Ban to a Geneva meeting on the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons' Protocol V on Explosive Remnants of War [PDF text]. Ban stressed that hidden explosive weapons, such as land mines, continue to claim lives and hamper economic recovery long after armed conflicts have ceased. Thirty-five countries have signed on to Protocol V, which went into effect in November 2006. Ban urged non-member countries to join the treaty and, in the meantime, to disarm voluntarily. The UN News Centre has more.